Eating Out in Madrid: DiverXo

So, I started to write up a post with some of our eating highlights from our trip to Madrid last year and quickly realized that first, I had to give DiverXo its own post. DiverXo is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid’s Tetuán neighborhood, a little ways outside the city center (we used the subway to get out there and a cab to get back). It is the work of quite-possibly-insane Chef David Muñoz, and if you hate those unending dinners with a bunch of little dishes, you won’t like DiverXo. Luckily, I very much enjoy those dinners, so while often bizarre and definitely indulgent, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


Upon entering DiverXo, you quickly realize what you’re in for. Continue reading


Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 7-9

Week 7 – Composition: Fill the Frame [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Fill the frame with your subject, no background. You will need to get up close and personal, or use a good zoom lens.

I took a bunch of shots for this challenge on a wander around my immediate neighborhood, but it was this simple, graphic plant that won out for the week.

Dogwood 2018 Week 7

Week 8 – Technical: Zoom Burst [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6]
By changing the focal length during long exposure you can add movement to your frame, producing leading lines within your frame. Continue reading

Where We Stayed: Madrid

We actually stopped in Madrid twice on our excursion to Spain and Morocco, once on the way in and once on the way out (we flew in and out of the city). We stayed at two different hotels in two different neighborhoods, and both worked out well, though our second hotel was definitely the more luxurious option. Still, both are worth mentioning, so here we go!

Note that we booked through Chase, and the pricing reflects what we paid – make sure to check on your own.

Artrip Hotel
Valencia, 1128012 Madrid, Spain
$125/night for a Standard Room

The Artrip Hotel, our first stop, was located in the Lavapies neighborhood, a 15 minute walk from the Atocha Train Station and a 15 minute walk from the Puerta del Sol (central plaza in Madrid). Luckily, Madrid is a highly walkable city, so we were able to traverse all the major points of interest from both of our hotels.

The Artrip was good beginning for us – small, modern, and clean, but nothing fancy. Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 5-6

Week 5 – Wild Card: Photographer’s Choice [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Capture an image on your terms; who, what, where, when, why, how … it’s all up to you. Caveat: You must tell us your intent.

We took a hike the weekend of Week 5, and when I spotted this determined little scrubby bush, I set out to make it my subject with the intention of centering it in frame and highlighting how it sat smack-dab in the middle of the path, refusing to be tamed.

Dogwood 2018 Week 5

Week 6 – Vision: Alternating Rhythm [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Alternate patterns of light to bring depth and rhythm to the photograph. Continue reading

Layover Life: 7 Hours in Brighton

I suppose, three months late, it’s time I start sharing some of the adventures from our biggest travel adventure last year to Spain and Morocco. Mind you, I’m not actually starting off with the main event, since I’m still slowly wading my way out of the swamp of photos I took (and by wading my way out I mean editing, culling, and wistfully gazing at), so instead I’ll bring you the first place we explored on the trip – Brighton, England.

Brighton Beach Pier

We got a great deal from Los Angeles to Madrid on Norwegian Air, but it included a roughly seven-hour layover at London-Gatwick Airport. Determined not to miss a minute of potential exploration, we did some research and learned that the seaside town of Brighton was a mere 30-minute train ride away, so as soon as we could get off our plane from L.A. we hopped a train and before long were walking the streets of Brighton. Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 1-4

And we’re back! We’ve got a much bigger group for Dogwood 2018, which is exciting. You can check out all the challenges to come (and join in yourself!) here. Let me know if you’re also taking the challenge – would love to see your images!

Week 1 – Vision: Look Ahead [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
New year. New beginnings. New you. Look ahead. Interpret as you wish.

I was struggling to get this one in at the last minute, and finally staged a self-portrait shoot inspired by the idea of moving towards the light as we head into the New Year. I wish the focus was a little better, but am happy with the overall effect.

Dogwood 2018 Week 1

Week 2 – Composition: Color Harmony [Shot with Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM]
Get out your color wheel. Do opposites attract? Can there be harmony with opposite colors? Does the Hulk wear purple pants? Mix warm and cool colors. Continue reading

Eating In: Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

I know, technically it’s not supposed to be pie season anymore. It’s supposed to be salads and kale and gym season. But it’s cold out (even in LA…at least in the mornings and evenings) and the oven is warm and pie is SO GOOD. So good, you guys!

So find an occasion that won’t leave you with a whole pie in the house whispering “eat me for breakfast” every day (do anyone else’s pies do that?), and go make Joy the Baker‘s Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie.

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

The pie begins with, of course, pie crust. I thought this was a pretty good and quite easy crust – not the absolute best crust I’ve ever had, but very tasty and a good texture. It’s always good to remember that pie crusts need time to chill, so start them in advance. Continue reading

Backyard Brunching

The Boy made a New Year’s resolution last year to host a “dinner party” once a month – basically that means we had to have people over and provide food. Preferably that we cooked. Normally, I was far too harried before these events to take a single photo, and then too busy hosting during them, but I did manage to capture a few pictures of a lovely outdoor brunch we hosted in service to this resolution and figured I’d share with you all.

Brunch Table

A friend and attendee (bless her), offered to do the table, which was our dining room table dragged outside under a tree. She put together a gorgeous blue palate, which I’m sorry I didn’t capture before we’d scattered glasses all over it. Oh well. Continue reading

Dogwood 2017 Photography Challenge: Weeks 48-52

Here it is! My final five photos of the Dogwood 2017 Photography Challenge. Next up – 2018.

Week 48 – Artistic: Bodyscape [Shot with Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM]
The human form has been the study of art since art was first inspired. Your inspiration this week is the human body.

I later realized I think this challenge was meant to elicit a photo of a body looking like a landscape, but oh well – instead, mine is a self-portrait of sorts highlighting the silhouette of a body. I sort of like the fact that it seems to tell a story.

Dogwood Week 48

Week 49 – Story: Blue Hour [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm/f4-5.6]
The Blue Hour is the hour after sunset or the hour before sunrise when the sky is dominated by amazing blue and purple hues. Use this to tell your story this week. Continue reading